Tuesday, February 28, 2006

SF Power Out! Cafe Blogging Today/AT&T Delivers...what?

Well, the big storms have hit San Francisco, taking a whole lot people off the grid, including your's truly. Luckily we have great spots like Muddy's, a cafe here at the southern end of the Mission with free-WiFi. Thank you! I'll be here for a while, I think. I understand close to 30,000 people are without power today.

Speaking of being in the mission today--I'm in the shadow of one of their new billboards. AdRants pointed out the apparent preposterousness of this outdoor campaign, especially with a billboard that has "Blogging Delivered" on it.

The version of the campaign that seemed to pick random Internet 2.0 style keywords and place them on a billboard was enough of a stretch. As AdRants points out, it doesn't even seem that AT&T had much of a sense of what a blog was, let alone what gave them the opportunity to claim credit for "delivering" it.

But, here, in the shadow of Muddy's, I've got one that says "futbol" delivered (this being a predominantly Latin neighborhood. Last night, I saw one that said "close friends" delivered. I gotta call them on this. One of the big mistakes that brands make in campaigns (it seems to me) is to over-estimate their importance to a consumer. They do this, and it looks like the brand is focused on itself, grandstanding and trying to hop on a bandwagon. Definitely not a leadership position.

AT&T is an enabler brand: they help to make experiences happen. They are not the experience themselves. This is what MasterCard so brilliantly nailed with the priceless campaign. AT&T needs to shift the spotlight away from themselves and back onto the experience itself. Or they simply need to find a way to actually deliver blogging (like sponsor someone interesting to blog, say). But simply claiming credit for some buzzword? That's not going to cut it.
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